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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
    Age
    69
    Posts
    2,863

    Default Something very different from my usual metalwork....

    I've been at this project for a few weeks - quite a few, actually....

    20180219_182233.jpg

    Here is the story:
    A few years ago I saw a large steel sculpture I really liked - and imagined that I could build something like that one day...
    Over the years a shape cristallised in my brain, but it involved a large spherical shape. Since I had no way of getting hold of anything like it, the idea slowly disappeared into the fog of other projects.
    Then, as you may know, mid-2016 I started a new part-time job, inspecting large LPG tanks for standards compliance.
    One of the tanks I looked at had hemispherical ends - an American brand of tanks imported in the '60s. Suddenly, I imagined the cylinder part gone and realised THERE was my sphere!
    A few phone calls and negotiations later, I was given a scrapped 1500 liter LPG tank, degassed and nitrogen purged, to come and pick up. They cut a large hole in the side instead of the usual hole in an end, just to ensure it could never be used for gas again.
    Once home, my plasma cutter made short work of cutting the two ends off.

    20171102_134327.jpg 20171102_143407.jpg 20171102_154152.jpg

    Visible in the last photo is an old heavy wall (1/8") industrial fan housing which was sheltering in my scrap heap. The fan is gone and the motor now powers my lathe.
    Some more plasma cutting of flat 1/8" collected plate and a lot of careful stitch welding saw the outside of the fan housing closed completely. A heavy 3x3x1/2" angle iron fully welded into one short edge allowed a suitable base frame to be attached, so the big square shape could be supported by just one corner.

    20171122_162501.jpg 20171122_184226.jpg 20171129_182001.jpg

    Meanwhile, I cleaned up the cut edges of the two hemispheres, mounted them on my welding table and welded them together

    20171114_201441.jpg 20171122_162514.jpg

    Lots of thoughts then went into the as-slender-as-possible support of this VERY heavy sphere (3/8" wall thickness, 900mm diameter).
    Eventually, my choice was a weight lifting bar designed to lift 500kg of bar bells - and not deform. It's 1-1/8" diameter and eventually around 4 ft long.
    I drilled and bored a close-fitting socket hole into a block of 4"x3"x2-1/4" MS, which I welded to two cross-bars on the now wide-spread base frame, made from 1-1/2"x 1/4" wall thickness RHS. A trial assembly proved that it was a safe attachment. The bar and socket was able to carry the weight of the sphere plus my weight - alas flexing a LOT. I then decided to shorten the bar and fit a thin support inside the 800mm ex fan hole in the square shape to support the bar at about mid-span without intruding too much into the 'look'.

    20180202_150605.jpg

    Next came the 'organic transformation cut' - a bit scary, because there would be no going back....

    20180217_201959.jpg

    Moving the two parts onto the lawn, digging out a hole for the support frame and poiring concrete foundation blocks to safely bolt the subterranean frame to was next. All very heavy and exhausting work, I'm afraid...
    Today, with the help of scared wife and my engine crane, we managed to lift the sharp-edged ball and pole into the 'black hole' and line up the pole and socket.
    Refilling the hole and sewing some lawn seed followed, as well a drilling a couple of drain holes in the 'ball'.
    What do think of it?

    20180219_141819.jpg 20180219_182253.jpg
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    573

    Default

    nice work, I like the exploded ball.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Castlemaine
    Posts
    244

    Default

    Great result Joe.

    Cheers

    Piers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Healesville
    Posts
    1,683

    Default

    Great stuff joe, I reckon it looks like a crashed foo fighter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
    Age
    69
    Posts
    2,863

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shedhappens View Post
    Great stuff joe, I reckon it looks like a crashed foo fighter
    Ha ha ha. I was going to call it "Black hole" (the fan housing is heavily hot-dip galvanised - and the new outside walls are not. So the whole thing needed to be painted. Black was an obvious choice to me). So the vision was something falling INTO or getting sucked into a black hole....
    But now its together, it looks like some kind of seedpod sprouting OUT OF a black box... My BIL asked where the 'thing' was that hatched out of the pod ....

    Any suggestions for a 'title'?
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    384

    Default

    It sort of looks like a flower, or an egg.

    I'm impressed...

    "hatched"

    "blooming rust"



    -russ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    5,564

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shedhappens View Post
    Great stuff joe, I reckon it looks like a crashed foo fighter
    It is great visual piece, Joe,

    I thought it was the model of the Death Star after Luke Skywalker had finished with it.

    All jokes aside, those half hemispheres aren't light and must have taken some wrestling into alignment.

    Is there a plan for using the cylindrical remainder? It is great recycling.

    Will there be more garden ornaments?

    There might well be an untapped market.

    Grahame

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    68
    Posts
    4,781

    Default

    Hi Joe.
    That is awesome, and very creative. LOVE it.
    You could call it "IT WAS A GAS ATTACK" or "Someone passed wind in it"
    At least no-one will steal it in a hurry, unless they come equiped with a mobile crane.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Laidley, SE Qld
    Posts
    941

    Default

    "Feed Me!!" (Little Shop of Horrors)

    That is very cool.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    4,497

    Default

    That is an awsome piece of work Joe!

    In keeping with your original idea for a name, how about:

    "Event Horizon"

    Simon
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Great stuff Joe. "emergence"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athelstone, SA 5076
    Posts
    4,029

    Default

    yeah...great work Joe

    looks like a flower bursting open to spread its pollens etc everywhere

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    gold coast
    Posts
    282

    Default

    Great sculpture Joe. It surpasses many of the entries Ive seen at the local festival held here every year.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
    Age
    69
    Posts
    2,863

    Default

    Thank you all! Keep the ideas for titles going. Different people see different things....
    So far I like them all. "Feed Me" tickles my fancy....

    The weight was the biggest issue. I couldn't lift any of the bits.... Had to use my engine crane to do anything and still wrestled with each step of the way. Lots of sweat gone into that one (and a little skin and blood).... The sphere with bar weighs about 100kg now, the box and base frame about 60kg.... it won't get moved in a hurry!

    I cut the bootom of the cylindrical part of the tank off - with its legs attached - thinking it would make a great 'fire pit' (about 2.5m long). No plans for the rest of the cylinder.
    I'll take a couple of photos later and see if someone has any ideas for using the remainder - about 200kg or more of rolled 3/8" steel plate.
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jhovel View Post
    No plans for the rest of the cylinder.
    I'll take a couple of photos later and see if someone has any ideas for using the remainder - about 200kg or more of rolled 3/8" steel plate.
    Perhaps you could roll it tighter and weld some ends on and then use it as a gas cylinder... Oh, wait.... Something very different from my usual metalwork....

    Put it on legs as a canopy over the firepit?
    Slice it up as bench seats?


    -russ

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